Jerusalem Festival of Light (official site) is an annual event that takes place since 2008. It is usually held in June for a week. And since this is Light Festival, the show is active only in the evenings (20:00 – 23:00).
Map of the area:
The location of the festival is the old city of Jerusalem, and there are several illuminated paths (marked with different colors) along which you can walk and see the works of art.
The admission to Jerusalem Festival of Light is free.
I have visited this festival in different years, and today I am going to tell and show about this festival.
Jerusalem Festival of Light – 2013
There are several ways of getting to the Old City. Either by car or by public transport. In many cases, I prefer parking at Ammunition Hill and taking Jerusalem Light till City Hall station. From there it is a five-minute walk to Jaffa gate.
In front of Jaffa Gate there is square (old city is quite dense, thus there is usually an installation there. This year there were big air balls and color changing dragon (or some other creature) kites:
The ballerina was not only rotating, but it was also changing colors. Also, though it called light festival, most installations are accompanied by music.
These are some visual impressions from 2014, and let’s see what 2014 has to offer.
Jerusalem Festival of Light – 2014
Jerusalem Festival of Light offers several different walking routes throughout the Old City. They present dozens of installations and displays. You can get a hard copy of a map, view it on the official website or follow signs on location.
This year I started at Jaffa Gate, where there is usually a big installation.
The red lighted rope at the top of the photo is the route marking. Each route has a color (this year there were four: red, green, blue and white). Such ropes were stretched throughout all Old City, so it was virtually impossible to get lost.
In the left bottom corner, you can see the sign with the number of the installation and a short description.
These look like regular cards, but they are not. All the kings were replaced with historical persons. There are Solomon, Josiah, Bar Kochba and some others.
I’ve seen the following scene only in this festival. A group of religious young girls with cameras on tripods. This is a rare scene. Most youngsters pull out their smartphones and don’t carry DSLR and tripods.
Keep in mind that installations and displays are scattered on a rather big territory. And there are a lot of people. Thus in three hours (20:00 – 23:00), you will probably complete only two routes. If you will be visiting Jerusalem Festival of Light only one evening choose the routes that are most interesting to you. If it is not the opening night than you will find photos and videos of the previous evenings on the internet.
Many installations included sound and movement. Thus, I created a short video:
As you can see installations change every year, thus you can visit Jerusalem Festival of Light annually. And this is what I did.
Jerusalem Festival of Light – 2015
If you are planning to visit, then you should know that this year the walking routes were changed to one way (not bi-directional). If it will remain this way in future years, then it’s best to start at Jaffa gate.
Let’s start with several photos and then I will show you can find a short video that was prepared by me.
These paintings were made with shade. There is one lamp at the top and special parts that are stuck horizontally. The shade of these part is what creates the painting:
Side Note: For some reason, in 2017 Jerusalem Festival of Light was held during the same week as Rehovot International Live Statues Festival. Since I could not visit both of them and I already visited Light Festival several times, we went to Live Statues Festival.
For several years they held a photo competition for the best photo from the festival. The prizes were quite nice, and I participated several times (never won anything). For some reason in 2015, thought the competition was announced and people submitted photos, they did not announce the winners. I think that in the following years they even did not announce the competition. Thus, I would say enjoy the Light Festival and do not work too hard for the competition.
Jerusalem Festival of Light – 2018
Jerusalem Festival of Light and Rehovot International Live Statues Festival still take place during the same week. In 2017, I did not have time to visit both. But, in 2018 I was able to visit both of them. I combined all the material and created a video. Here it is.
Jerusalem Festival of Light is a beautiful annual event. It is held in the evening. Thus it is not hot (but can be problematic for families with small children). Most likely you will not be able to cover everything in one evening. Therefore, I would recommend not to visit it during the opening evening. You can wait for a day or two and then check social media (you can search for hashtags on Instagram for example). This way you will be able to pick the most interesting installations and visit them first.
Overall, it is beautiful and free, so definitely check it out.
Have you ever been to Jerusalem Festival of Light? Did you like it? Let us know in the comments below.
That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!
For additional points of interest nearby check out Jerusalem page.
Here are several resources that I created to help tourists to Israel:
- Israel Trip Planner is the page that will help you to create your perfect travel route.
- National Parks And Nature Reserves page lists and put all national parks on the map. There is also a top list, information about ticket types and campsites.
- If you are looking for things to do, here are the pages for Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa.
- Wondering what events are there in Israel? Here is the Events And Festivals By Season guide.
And if you have any questions then check out Useful Information For Tourists To Israel.